(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
I have a love/dislike relationship with Sailor fountain pens. I love the nibs. I dislike the PMMA resin bodies (which can feel kind of cheap) and the stingy converters (holding only .7 ml of ink). Obviously, many fountain pens are made of resin, so that’s not a deal breaker, and Sailor’s PMMA resin is strong and thick. But the converters seem rather flimsy.
But (there’s always a but, isn’t there?) I’ve been lurking on various Japanese pen sites like Wancher and Pensachi and discovered all the color variations Sailor offers to the larger world market. Sailor pens come in some outstanding special and/or limited edition colors. Many of the colors remind me of tropical flavor LifeSavers. Yum!
I fell for a Sailor Pro Gear limited edition called Tequila Sunrise. It was already sold out at both Wancher and Pensachi, but I found an eBay seller who had one with a medium nib, so I bought it. I ordered it July 4 from Japan and it was here on July 12.
Even though the Tequila Sunrise is a limited edition pen, it came in a regular Sailor clamshell box with a couple of cartridges but no converter. I had a spare Sailor converter on hand, so that wasn’t a big deal.
The pen is gorgeous from top to bottom. The finial is clear with a cool red and gold Sailor logo in the center.
The cap is a yellow-orange color with gold-plated trims (clip and cap bands).
The body is a peach-orange color that deepens the closer you get to the base.
And the finial at the base is a translucent red-orange.
The pen looks exactly like the cocktail after which it is named.
The Pro Gear Classic is a small to medium-sized pen. It is 5 inches/128mm capped, 4.6 inches/116mm uncapped, and 5.9 inches/150mm posted. The grip is 11mm, and the barrel at its widest is 13mm. It weighs 25 grams inked and posted and 16.62 grams inked without the cap.
The nib is a beautiful two-tone 21K medium with all the usual Sailor scrollwork and anchor logo. I’m very happy with the medium nib, which writes smoothly and has perfectly-aligned tines.
I inked the pen with Robert Oster Ng Special ’16. The ink is a nice match for the pen, but may be a bit too dry for this nib. I didn’t have any skipping issues, but the ink doesn’t flow as smoothly as I would like. It may be that I need a wetter ink or that I’m just not accustomed to the Sailor nib feedback that people talk about. The last few Sailor pens I bought had custom-ground nibs, so they wrote more smoothly. I’ll try the ink with Sailor Apricot and see if they get along better.
Regardless, this is one Sailor I plan to keep in my collection. I love the unusual, bright colors which are happy and make me smile. Even though I typically prefer larger pens, I really like how the Pro Gear Classic feels n my hand. The grip is wide enough that my hand doesn’t cramp after writing a few pages, and the pen is light and well balanced. The only negative is I crave tropical LifeSavers whenever I use the pen.
If you’re interested in the Sailor Pro Gear (or any Sailor models), I highly recommend the eBay seller from whom I purchased my Tequila Sunrise. I also recommend Pensachi who carries Sailor, Pilot, Platinum, Namiki, and Lamy, and offers limited editions and special versions you can’t find at American retailers.
(I purchased this pen with my own funds.)
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